Right up there with helicopter parenting and the mommy mafia, entitled enfants are another worrisome trend in the world of parenting. We see it everyday– children who are being raised without manners, kids who speak disparagingly to adults– who demand, snap, and sometimes rage when they don’t get their way.
No one wants to be “that parent.” This Time article, written by Amy McCready, TODAY Parenting Team contributor and founder of PositiveParentingSolutions.com, covers five simple things you can be doing right now to ensure your babies grow up with an attitude of gratitude. You can read the full article here, or if you’re short on time, we’ve summarized them in a nutshell for you below:
- Assign Accountability. Allow your children (even toddlers) to accept more responsibility, whether it be household duties (McCready doesn’t like the term “chores”) or allowing them more input in making family decisions (such as meal planning for the week). According to McCready, “what they’ll get in return will be life skills they need to head out into the world as happier, more successful and self-sufficient human beings.”
- Embrace Your Stubborn Side. Even when you want to say “yes” to avoid a conflict or in-public meltdown, don’t give in to the impending temper tantrum. Reinforcing your boundaries reinforces healthy parenting, plain and simple.
- Let Them Mess Up. Let your children try to solve their own problems before intervening. “Every time we rescue our kids from their mistakes, intervene on their behalf, or smooth the way so things are easier for them, we rob them of a learning opportunity — the chance to be responsible, to figure it out for themselves, or to face a scary situation,” McCready says.
- Money Can’t Buy You Love. Establish an allowance or a budget, and teach your child to work within that. As McCready suggests, “little kids can use allowance for treats when they go to the store, big kids can be responsible for school lunches, school clothing and entertainment.” Your kiddos will learn valuable budgeting skills and more importantly, the value of delayed gratification.
- Give Without Condition. Your children will thrive from volunteering and helping those less fortunate, whether you serve soup with them at the homeless shelter, drop off canned goods to a community food bank, or volunteer at the local animal rescue center. According to McCready, “when you practice daily gratitude rituals at home, actively seek to do random acts of kindness, and find opportunities to serve others throughout the year — you are helping to set your children and your family on the path to a much more rewarding life.”